When you go to visit your doctor, you hope to feel better and be healthier when you leave than before you made the trip. And when you go to the pharmacy to get medicine prescribed by the doctor, you have similar expectations. But that’s not always the case.
The phrase “do no harm” comes from the Latin primum non nocere and is believed to be the basis for a portion of the Hippocratic Oath, which includes a promise made by physicians to “abstain from doing harm.” Non-maleficence, which is derived from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of bioethics that all healthcare students are taught in school and is a fundamental principle throughout the world. Another way to state it is that, “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.” It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.
Pharmacist and Physician Errors
So a heath care professional might do something that causes injury or death, or they might not do something that leads to injury or death. It’s a difficult position to be in.
One area where this dilemma is particularly troubling is in the area of prescribing opiates for pain sufferers. Doctors want to help people with serious pain, and pharmacists want to do their best to help. Pharmacists want to assist the doctor and patients by fulfilling their roles as health care professionals by properly dispensing the right drug. Pharmacists are also charged with checking to make sure that other drugs won’t react with painkillers and cause more harm than good. When there is a serious mistake, what is a victim’s recourse?
Fortunately we have laws in this country that protect people from the carelessness, negligence, or even malpractice of others. It can be a murky area at first to determine what kind of error may or may not have occurred to cause a patient harm, and the most prudent step is to consult with attorneys who are familiar with these laws.
South Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has set aside a significant part of our practice to help victims of medical and/or pharmacy errors. We have helped people in south Florida harmed by drug mistakes receive compensation for pain, suffering, time lost from work, and additional medical bills for the past 20 years.
Please reach out to us any time by calling 954-356-0006 and we will sit down to discuss how we might be able to help.